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Summer cycling in northern Italy

AlanWilloAlanWillo Posts: 34
edited July 2012 in Tour & expedition
Have managed to bag myself 2 weeks off work at the beginning of August and am keen to make the most of it with some EPIC cycling. I did some of the French Alps and the Ventoux last year which was amazing, and am looking to do some of the big Italian climbs now. I'd like to head somewhere in Northern Italy, perhaps near the Italian lakes so that if my (non-cycling, sigh) girlfriend decides to join me for one of the weeks we have some non-hill based entertainment too.

Can anyone recommend a good base for getting some excellent rides in? I won't have a car so I need somewhere where the climbs are easy to get to on two wheels. Also if you've been out there and have stayed in some good cycling friendly accommodation then I'd be very keen to hear from you please! It's likely I'll be doing at least one week of this alone so ease of getting to places is my priority. Could also do two bases if that makes the cycling more easily accessible.

Soooo excited!

Thanks a lot!!


  • airwiseairwise Posts: 180
    Although the attraction is to go to Bormio and ride the Stelvio, Gavia etc, there's little else there to do and nothing for your girlfriend. The lakes are too far away without a car too.

    My suggestion would be to head to the Dolomites. Base yourself in Corvara or Cortina. There is plenty for non cyclists to enjoy in the beautiful area and Venice is only a train journey away for a relaxing day out.

    You will be spoilt with the number of classic Giro climbs literally on your doorstep, from the ease of the Pordoi and Passo di Sella to the pain of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Fedaia.

    Anyway I'm sure you'll have a great time - just be prepared for lots (and I mean LOTS) of motorcycle tourists.
  • AlanWilloAlanWillo Posts: 34
    Thanks, sounds good. Can you personally recommend anywhere to stay in either of those towns?
  • alwaystoohotalwaystoohot Posts: 252
    Can you ride his bike for him as well?!!
    'I started with nothing and still have most of it left.'
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    edited July 2012
    There are a lot of big climbs in the Alta Resia (ie Bormio, Livigno, St Moritz etc) but they are pretty spread out and you probably do need a car (although, as I can testify, you can do at least some of them fully loaded.

    Cortina is a good bet, but it's not on a train line, so not easy to get to without a car (you could cycle there on the old railway line). EDIT: that's probably unduly pessimistic as if you have your bike in a bag you should be able to get the bus from the station at Pieve di Cadore. Otherwise it's a 30km taxi ride - not cheap but not a showstopper.
    There are lots of decent places around that area so don't focus only on Cortina.

    My advice would be to narrow down the search by considering what airports you can fly to eg Ryanair fly to Bergamo which might be a better bet than Milan. Treviso (Ryanair's Venice) is good for the eastern Dolomites (and the area's wine country is a pretty good destination in its own right).

    Being more positive, in Italy it's hard to go too far wrong: go somewhere near the mountains, get a Touring Club Italiano or Kompass map and head for the hills. I wouldn't obsess too much about the big name climbs - Italy definitely isn't short of challenging climbs with great views. is as good a way as any to find places to stay. TripAdviser is also well-established here. You could also try searching for 'bike hotel' and the name of the place you are interested in.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    if you fancy the Dolomites then try La Villa, just 3 km from Corvara, and the start of the Maratona. I stayed here a few weeks ago and can recommend it - great food and bike friendly

    lovely spot to stay and friendly staff, with lots of great food to keep you going.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    Ride the Colle delle Finestre, that's my aim this summer anyway.
  • AlanWilloAlanWillo Posts: 34
    Thanks all! I've now booked a week in Alta Badia, staying at the Hotel Melodia del Bosco. Absolutely can't wait! Am planning to do the Maratona dles Dolomites (this possibly might kill me, but must be worth it) and some shorter loops too. Which other climbs would you recommend?

    Thanks :D
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